YSU, Tressel agree on key contract terms

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) —  Jim Tressel and the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees signed a letter of understanding Monday evening, laying out the key terms of Tressel’s contract to take over as YSU’s ninth president July 1.

To see a release from the university regarding the signing, click here.

Tressel said there are great challenges in higher education in the state of Ohio. But the former football coach laid out his vision for success as YSU’s next president with a sports analogy.

“We have to raise the retention rate. We have to raise the graduation rate. We have to raise the placement rate. That’s the scoreboard,” Tressel said during his 30-minute press conference.

The board of trustees unanimously approved Tressel’s appointment Friday after interviewing two other candidates last week.

The three-year agreement will have Tressel making $300,000 the first two years. Compensation in the third year will be based on a performance evaluation.

Board Chairman Dr. Sudershan Garg said they budgeted a $375,000 annual salary for Tressel, which was the same amount they paid Dr. Randy Dunn.

“When Jim saw that number, with his own pen he reduced it to $300,000 and that is very, very credit worthy on his part to do so,” Dr. Garg said.

If Tressel terminates his contract within the first year, he will have to pay YSU $200,000. That penalty drops to $175,000 in the second year and $150,000 within three years.

“Considering what we faced when Randy Dunn left all of a sudden, we want to make sure that the president does not leave office without cause,” Dr. Garg said.

Tressel and his wife Ellen will live in the newly renovated Pollock House on Wick Avenue. YSU will pay reasonable relocation costs, and also provide an American-made vehicle for the president’s use.

To see the key terms of Tressel’s contract, click here.

Tressel said it’s up to everyone on campus to work together to increase excellence and student success.

“That attitude that retention is all of our responsibility, I think this is the first thing that we have to do,” Tressel said.

Trustees hope to have the full contract approved by June 18.

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